5G Edge Computing provides the foundation for new value creation coming from enterprise and industry verticals. To capture the value at stake, Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are seeking to use data in their processes and decision making. They are not looking for a one-time attempt at innovation. Rather, they are seeking sustainable growth as a source of competitive advantage in an increasingly digitalized economy. A digital economy warrants a digital infrastructure that is conducive of data collection, storage, processing, and consumption. A key element of this data infrastructure is a data management facility available on 24/7 basis, a first step to fully capture the value of data, finds global tech market advisory firm ABI Research.
The quest to pursue new revenue streams and the need to streamline telco operations are the driving forces behind a 5G data infrastructure layer. Many CSPs are already on a journey to unlock value from analytics and their data repositories. AT&T, Telefonica, and Vodafone are some operators, among many others, that have an internal data strategy in place based on network, customers, and Internet of Things (IoT) data sources to enable cost efficiencies and drive innovation. “The shift to a data-driven organization is certainly at the forefront of their transformation agenda and successful commercialization of enterprise and industrial 5G,” says Don Alusha, Senior Analyst at ABI Research.
Data serves as a major source of competitive advantage to foster new value creation. Data-driven organizations consistently outperform those that do not utilize the value of data along with key metrics such as margin profitability, productivity, and operational efficiency. For vendors, it is crucial that they enhance their data management solutions with features and options that are both substantial, and differentiated, as they support CSPs diversify their commercial operations. The question that vendors should use to frame their strategy is how their solution is engineered for cloud environments. To that end, vendors like Enea Openwave, Ericsson, Nokia, and ZTE have enhanced their data infrastructure offering with cloud-native, fully elastic, and highly scalable capabilities suitable for software-centric 5G networks.
The CSP community, on the other hand, should aim to drive a unified data strategy across their operations and seamlessly tie the business logic at the service layer with a 5G network data platform. A strategy for a robust data infrastructure is going to be at the center of new commercial forays, particularly enterprise 5G. For CSPs to compete effectively with data as the foundation, they have to get three strands right: the intelligent connectivity to connect with data infrastructure platforms; the education to get their workforce innovating on, working off of, and tapping into a data-centric telco ecosystem; and finally, a data governance system to get the best out of this ecosystem and cushion its side effects.
“With a robust data governance system in place, CSPs can accelerate their digital transformation by effectively using data to bolster their competitive positioning in the market. Data volumes are growing exponentially and the types of data that organizations are collecting and analyzing is also growing. Data governance can serve as a one-stop-shop facility to establish clear links from data collection, processing, and applying intelligent insights to decision making,” Alusha concludes.
These findings are from ABI Research’s Data Infrastructure in 5G Distributed Networks application analysis report. This report is part of the company’s 5G Core & Edge Networks research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights. Based on extensive primary interviews, Application Analysis reports present in-depth analysis on key market trends and factors for a specific application, which could focus on an individual market or geography.
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